WASHINGTON, January 4, 2017 — A public figure is a pariah in the eyes of the mainstream media when the only network news organization willing to talk to him is Fox.
Lucky for Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, Fox News is the most-watched cable news network. Better still, Assange was interviewed by the third most watched television news personality, Sean Hannity.
Julian Assange, once lionized by the New York Times for publishing leaked documents during the administration of President George W. Bush, saw his star fall in the eyes of liberal opinion shapers when WikiLeaks released Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails, those of her presidential campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.
The corruption the emails revealed has never been challenged by the White House, the Democratic Party or the U.S. intelligence community. Their objection has been that the truth tellers were hackers in the employ of Russian President Vladimir Putin, working in connection with WikiLeaks.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid blamed WikiLeaks for his party’s political situation:
“I think that what’s going on here is that you have WikiLeaks who coordinated everything they did, obviously, with the Trump campaign. That’s why they leaked out a little bit here, a drip here, a drip there. Um, so, there’s collusion there, clearly … WikiLeaks was heavily involved in trying to hurt Hillary Clinton and it helped Trump.”
Marsh Gessen of the New York Times chided her own newspaper for printing “information obtained by Russians and released by WikiLeaks,” which was reported “widely, including in this newspaper,” moving “enough Americans to throw the election.”
In Tuesday night’s interview on Fox, Hannity asked if the Russians were the source of the Clinton, Podesta and DNC email leaks.
“Our source is not a state party. So, the answer for our interactions is no. But if we look at the most recent statement by the U.S. government on the 29th of December, we had five different branches of government—Treasury, DHS, FBI, White House—presenting their accusations to underpin Obama’s throwing out 35 Russian diplomats. What was missing from all of those statements was the word WikiLeaks. This is very strange.”
Like most American political observers, Assange did not see the outcome of the 2016 coming:
“I didn’t think Donald Trump would win. I thought the [Democratic Party] establishment … would see Hillary Clinton losing and they would pile in more money and more energy—the various TV networks on her side—and make sure that she won … If they thought she was going to lose, maybe she would have gotten five billion [dollars]” in campaign contributions.
In the presidential election of 2016, Hillary Clinton spent $1.4 billion to Trump’s $932.3 million. The character of the candidate, or lack thereof, proved a more powerful deciding factor than money, a point Assange eventually made:
“What are they saying? WikiLeaks published true information that the American public read. That information was the words of Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta—and other people in her campaign—and the American public read that information, true information, and said, ‘We don’t like these people’ and then voted accordingly.”
Julian Assange believes he knows the motivation behind the hysteria over Russian hackers by the White House and their fellow travelers in the media.
“They are trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House. They are trying to say President-Elect Trump is not a legitimate president. They will seize on this and harp on it for the next four years … that’s a mistake for the U.S. Democratic Party. I think it’s a stupid maneuver. It’s the same reason why they lost the election.”
In other words, they are trying to delegitimize the American voter and the nation’s constitutional order in the name of corrupt, one-party rule. A “stupid maneuver” that will continue to work in the Republican’s favor.